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6 Differences Between Llamas and Alpacas

6 Differences Between Llamas and Alpacas

Could you pick an alpaca out of a llama line-up? 

Llamas and alpacas are, unsurprisingly, closely related. People often get confused between these two curious creatures. Banish that confusion and get your camelid facts straight!  
(Camelid is the animal family that llamas, alpacas and camels come from) 

  • Llamas are bigger than alpacas. They are taller and can weigh twice as much as their fluffy cousins! 
  • Llamas, unlike alpacas, are used for carrying loads. They can carry up to 60 kilos for 18 miles per day.  
  • While both llamas and alpacas can be shorn (like sheep), llamas have shorter, coarser hair. Making alpacas the fluffiest and the first choice for super soft fleece.  
  • Alpacas are raised for their super soft fleece, and llamas are bred to guard livestock. 
  • You can tell the difference between alpacas and llamas from their face shapes too. Llamas have longer, thinner snouts, and long banana-shaped ears.  
  • Alpacas and llamas have different personalities. Llamas have an independent disposition. Alpacas are more timid than llamas and tend to stick with their herd.  
    Llamas get a bad reputation for spitting and being grizzly, but that’s because they are often given weights that are more than they can carry. (That would make us grizzly too!) 

And a bonus fact for you! Alpacas and llamas can have babies together! In South America, they’re called huarizos or mistis, and in North America, they are called llapacas. 

At Sweet Home Alpaca, we have a huge herd of gorgeous smooshy faced alpacas. And they would love to meet you! Join us in glorious Pembrokeshire for an alpaca walk or some wild alpaca camping to meet these adorable fuzzballs.   

We also sell fleece and have a range of alpaca services for owners and breeders.